As a little girl, being a ballerina was something graceful and princess-like . . . and OH, was it going to be me! Never mind there wasn't a ballet school for miles around. I stood on my tiptoes and did pirouettes and leapt through the air, kicking my legs out. Ballet was my calling! At six years old, I KNEW IT!
Alas, that was not my calling. I never took ballet. I never put on a single shoe. I've never even taken a barre class (uh oh - might have to add that to my list). But, my interest in ballet remained long after I decided it was time to learn to walk on my whole foot and not just my toes. As a teenager, I would sneak a peek at ballets being played on the television - until someone from my family would walk in and rudely change the channel because "It was ballet."
I moved on to watching movies in which ballet played a part - Save the Last Dance, Center Stage, Black Swan, etc. And when we moved to Tulsa, I saw to my delight, a professional ballet company! I checked out ticket prices. Ooops - a little bit beyond my budget. I figured I would bide my time.
I didn't have to wait long. I got discount tickets to Cinderella by Tulsa Ballet (the principal dancers pictured at right). And it was being performed on Valentine's Day. And - it being a ballet about a princess, I knew my daughter (here on out referred to as Bee) would be dying to go. She had also gotten bit by the ballet bug and even now tries to do her own pirouettes as she begs for ballet dance class. I kept the tickets from her as a surprise. When she got out of school on Valentine's Day, I told her she needed to get ready because we were going to the ballet to see Cinderella! You can imagine her excitement - her being 6-years-old and everything.
We put on decent clothes - a little better than the standard jeans and t-shirts. We were all set! First, of course, there was a trip to a local frozen custard stand for a special treat. But, then we were off to downtown Tulsa at the Performing Arts Center to watch Cinderella in all it's ballet princess glory! Our seats were by no means ideal, but they were not terrible. We had a decent view of the stage.
One thing that made us both uncomfortable was the attire of almost everyone in attendance. We saw little girls in Cinderella dresses and adults in formal evening wear. And here we were - business casual pretty much. I promised Bee the next time we went to the ballet, we would buy brand new fancy dresses to wear.
The lights dimmed and the ballet began, the notes being played by the symphony were clear and crisp. The stage was exquisite and when the dancing began - Bee leaned forward in her seat, drawn to the ballerinas. There was a surprising bit of comedy involved as some men played the parts of the step-sisters. We both laughed at their antics.
Unfortunately, when the 20-minute intermission came about - an hour after the show started - Bee was passing out on a bench right outside the doors, her head in my lap. She said she was too tired to stay. I asked her if she wanted to go home or continue watching Cinderella. She opted for home. We bundled up in our coats and left half-way through the performance. I was sorry that I did not see the whole ballet, but I knew Bee needed to get home and crawl in to her bed.
We received a lovely Cinderella postcard from Tulsa Ballet, thanking us for attending. Bee is proudly displaying that on her bedroom wall, and is looking forward to the next ballet. Which might be the Carmina Burana at the end of October, beginning of November. I LOVE THE CARMINA BURANA!